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66 reflect western culture. As a result, fundamental misalignments are likely to exist between foreign ERP systems and Indiancompanies requirements. These factors can result in design with undesirable reality gaps, which tend to lead to underperformingsystems (Walden and Browne, 2002).Over the past years, the global economic crisis has put the spotlight on many business organizations of any size. With India notbeing spared of the impact, large establishments have attempted to tackle this crisis in their own ways. SME’s are increasinglybeing brought into focus on account of their huge growth potential. Various researchers have recommended research into theimplementation and use of ERP at SMEs (Huin, 2004; Jacobs and Bendoly, 2003; Muscatello
., 2003).Huin (2004) argues that “unless differences between small and large firms are understood, managing ERP projects in SMEs willcontinue to be slow, painful and at times even unfruitful”. Thus, it appears from previous studies that organizational conditions atSMEs differ from that of large organizations. This suggests that the relative importance of CSFs in ERP implementation may alsodiffer. Since literature on ERP implementation at Indian SMEs is relatively sparse, this research helps to narrow this knowledgegap by investigating ERP implementation at Indian SMEs.
The definition of Indian SMEs, according to MSME Development Act, 2006 is based on the ceilings on investment for anenterprise (micro, small and medium) is adopted in the current paper (see Table A – Appendix). Different ERP implementationphases are associated with specific ERP implementation problems (Markus and Tanis, 2000). The ERP implementation literaturehas provided a solid theoretical background to ERP research. However, there seems to be insufficient research investigation on thecritical success factors for successful ERP implementation at Indian SMEs for all the phases of ERP implementation from planningto post ERP implementation. This study aims at achieving this objectives by considering ERP implementation process based on“Synthesized process model for ERP implementation phases” (Shanks
., 2000) to identify and rank the critical success factorsfor the success of ERP implementation at Indian SMEs (see Appendix).
1.1 Research Gap
Critical Success Factors (CSFs) approach was first used by Rockhart (1979) in IS area. It has been applied to many aspects of IS(Information Systems) including project management, manufacturing systems implementation, reengineering, and, more recently,ERP systems implementation (Brown
., 1999). Within ERP implementation context, CSFs are defined as "factors needed toensure a successful ERP project" (Motwani
., 2002). Several studies identified the critical factors needed to enable projectmanagers and management boards to improve their ERP implementation projects. Implementing successful ERP systems isinvestigated by many researchers. Their general focus was on identifying CSFs that need to exist in large organization to havesuccessful ERP implementation. These factors have been tested in different organizations in many developed and developingcountries by many researchers (Al-Mashari, 2001; Akkermans and Helden, 2002). These factors include, but not limited to, clearobjectives, user involvement, effective communications, change management, project team, project champion, consultants,architecture choices, minimal customization, excellent project management, top management support, data analysis andconversion, business process reengineering ,user training and education etc.It has to be noted that much of the attention focused on the critical success factors for the successful ERP implementation in thelarge enterprise. The success of ERP implementation in both SMEs and LEs are equally important thus the gaps in Indian ERPimplementation are:
What are the critical factors that influence success of ERP Implementation at Indian SMEs?
Which critical factors should get high priority in judging the success of ERP implementation at Indian SMEs?The main objectives of this paper are to identify and categorize the critical factors influencing success of ERP implementation atIndian SMEs. To find out the factors that can be defined under each component with their importance. To find out the reliability of instrument totally for defining each factor and to rank the critical success factors according to their importance.This research paper was organized in four sections. Section 1 introduces background information by providing the generalconcept of ERP systems and motivation for the research in the area of ERP implementation at Indian SMEs. It reviews theprevious efforts and findings in related areas. It presents an overview of previous research on ERP implementation in informationsystems. Sub section 1.1 defines the research gaps. Section 2 presents the research methodology, showing survey instruments andtheir descriptions. Section 3 deals with the results of the survey that were examined by reliability, validity test and exploratoryfactor analysis etc, to know that whether the survey instruments were developed properly or not. Previous research, theories andfundamentals of project management in ERP implementation are presented to form the theoretical background of the researchmodel. It provides the conceptual research model, describing factors and components. It contains the analysis and interpretation of main research findings along with the recommendations. Section 4 summarizes the study and concludes by examining thecontributions of the completed research model and presents the limitations for further advance research in this area.